ANN ARBOR, Mich. - Thirteen players earned at least one point as the U.S. National Under-18 Team bested the Chicago Steel, 8-2, here tonight at the Ann Arbor Ice Cube. The U18s are now 19-4-1 (W-L-OTL) in the United States Hockey League with one game remaining in the 2014-15 season.
Team USA opened the scoring at 9:03 of the first period. Matthew Tkachuk (St. Louis, Mo.) won a battle for the puck in the left corner and flicked it to Auston Matthews (Scottsdale, Ariz.). Matthews hit Jack Roslovic (Columbus, Ohio) who clanked it off the iron and in. The trio connected again at 13:29 to double the U.S. lead. Similar to the first goal, Tkachuk dropped a pass back to Matthews who then found Roslovic. Roslovic fired the puck past Steel goalie Trevor Gorsuch for his second tally.
Jordan Greenway (Potsdam, N.Y.) pushed the Under-18 Team advantage to three markers 2:47 into the second stanza. Christian Fischer (Wayne, Ill.) tried the wraparound but was denied and the rebound was hammered home by Greenway on the second attempt. Luke Kunin (Chesterfield, Mo.) also assisted. Chicago struck at 5:24 to climb within two goals, but Team USA notched four unanswered to take a commanding 7-1 lead after 40 minutes. Troy Terry (Highlands Ranch, Colo.) was set up by Brendan Warren (Carleton, Mich.) and Jeremy Bracco (Freeport, N.Y.) at 11:24 and Matthews followed with a power-play marker at 13:43. Terry potted his second score, tipping a Joseph Masonius (Spring Lake, N.J.) blast into the net. Warren earned the secondary helper. Clayton Keller (Swansea, Ill.) capped the scoring frenzy at 18:05, knocking a loose puck in front of the crease into the cage. Steven Ruggiero (Kings Park, N.Y.) had the initial shot on Gorsuch and collected an assist along with Colin White (Hanover, Mass.).
Greenway found Fischer just over a minute into the final frame for the eighth Team USA goal. Chicago managed to net one more goal midway through the period but the game was too far out of reach and the U.S. won handily, 8-2.
Michael Lackey (Washington, D.C.) got the nod in between the pipes for Team USA and turned aside 14 shots in the victory.
The U.S. National Under-18 Team hosts the Muskegon Lumberjacks in its final home contest on Sunday, March 29. The first 100 fans in attendance will receive a team poster. Puck drop is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. ET and can be seen via live streaming at FASTHockey.com.
Team USA outshot Chicago, 43-16 ... The U.S. went 1-7 on the power play while holding the Steel to 0-3 ... Auston Matthews is now tied with Jack Eichel (North Chelmsford, Mass./2012-14) for fifth place in career goals with 67 ... Matthews (142) and Jeremy Bracco (148) continued their climb to third on the career points list. Andy Hilbert (Howell, Mich./1997-99) currently sits at third with 153 points ... Matthew Tkachuk extended his USHL point streak to 12 games. The forward has 23 points (10-13) over that span which includes five straight multi-point efforts ... Matthews also is riding a 12-game point streak. The forward has 11 goals and 17 helpers dating back to Feb. 20 ... With two goals and one assist tonight Jack Roslovic's point streak (7-10) reached eight games ... Jordan Greenway pushes his point streak (3-8) to six games ... Clayton Keller has one goal in five straight contests and points in eight straight (5-9) in time split between the Under-17 and Under-18 Teams.
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